Tag Archives: Temptation

The Breath of Satan

The current flu virus is going around the world – like most seasonal flu viruses in the past, SARS, MERS, bird flu, swine flu etc. However, the difference this time is in the State reactions to it, which seem to be suicidal for many economies and businesses. They are unique. Conspiracy theories therefore abound. Such that this was all an attempt by a certain jealous State to sabotage the Chinese economy through bacteriological warfare. But the scheme went wrong, catastrophically backfiring and spreading worldwide. Though there is no proof at all of this, it would at least explain the extreme measures.

Some 500,000 died in the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic without any extreme measures. On the other hand, the present death toll of over 16,000 could easily double, double again and double again within a few days or weeks. However, it remains true that so far virtually all, if not all, the victims have been very elderly, already very ill and dying of respiratory illnesses, heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, or had extremely low immunity.

We have seen some extraordinary stupidity, official and unofficial: panic buying; racism towards Chinese-looking people; the refusal to ban the visits of relatives to by far the most vulnerable in care homes; the refusal by the government and care homes to give sick pay to care home workers, so that they had to work when not feeling well; the government decision to stop most London Tube trains and then their surprise when the few that were allowed to run were overcrowded. There are always opportunities for stupidity.

More frightening is that the whole planet is being turned into a prison – indeed many have already volunteered to imprison themselves. In many countries nearly all churches voluntarily closed themselves – a situation never achieved by the atheists in the Soviet Union! The silence of Church hierarchies is stunning. Therefore we all have to pray at home, reading the Psalter and the New Testament especially, and the Lives of the Saints. And we all have an opportunity to fast. The word quarantine means 40 days – the same as Lent. Relatively soon, this will be over. It is a great Lenten temptation. Like all temptations it can be defeated. If Satan breathes on us, then we can turn away from him.

The Present Danger

Who is it that will harm you, if you are followers of what is good?

(1 Peter 3, 13)

1916 was the year when the bankrupt British government was taken over by new and alien forces dependent on transnational financiers in New York and the year that the Russian Revolution was planned, in part inside the British Embassy in the Russian Capital. One century on, 2016 is also proving to be a year of great temptation internationally, especially because of Syria, and for the Russian Orthodox Church. Here there is great controversy, as throughout the Orthodox world, about the documents prepared for the proposed Inter-Orthodox meeting in Crete in June, especially that on the Church. Secondly, there has been the surprise meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and the Bishop of Rome, which has upset and disturbed many within the Russian Orthodox Church in particular.

As a result, there are a few clergy who have ceased commemorating Patriarch Kyrill. Then there have been meetings in Russia, the Ukraine and Moldova where small numbers of activists protesting at the use of the word ‘Council’ and the contents of the documents and they have used words like ‘uncanonical’, ‘heresy’ and ‘heretic’. And certain Russian bloggers, well-known for extremism and immaturity, have made dishonest and disrespectful accusations, falling into abuse and gossip, insults and unjust accusations, rumours and innuendo, proving that they are in fact secular-minded, not Church-minded. Our modernist and ecumenist enemies, who want schism from the Church, are rejoicing at the actions of such zealots. they are already imagining the full-scale destruction of the Church.

What should our attitude be?

Firstly, we must pray for the Russian Patriarch. There are those around him who are still under the influence of the humanistic and unOrthodox ‘theology’ of the 20th century Russian emigration, of the Paris School of Bulgakovism and Schmemannism, and have learned nothing from the Sourozh schism. Individuals subject to that ideology, which is what it is, are in fact fifth columnists, who are bringing divisive spiritual impurity into the Church. Secondly, we must rewrite the documents for the Crete meeting, making clear that we will never accept compromises of the teachings of the Church and especially of the teaching on the Church, the main dogmatic issue here. Fortunately, many in other Local Churches, especially in Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, are already undertaking this.

We must also make sure that the voices of all Orthodox in the monasteries and parishes, clergy and laypeople, those at the grassroots of the Church, are heard. The Church is not the bishops, and certainly not a select group of bishops, and certainly not a group of uprooted intellectuals and disincarnate philosophers; the Church is everyone, the whole body of the faithful, the people of God, both now and in ages past. That is the meaning of the word ‘catholicity’. However, in doing this, we must show honesty, respect and courtesy, defending the Church and Church Truth from all Her enemies, from left or right, whatever their sect. And we must act without hysteria, from inside the Church, for we know that the Church is not ours, but God’s, and that Christ will always be triumphant in the long term.

Leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Asks for Boycott of All-Orthodox ‘Council’

Speaking at the Diocesan Meeting in Kiev on 28 December, Metropolitan Onuphry, the ascetic and leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (representing some 30,000,000 souls in the Church of Rus’ (75% of the whole Orthodox Church) to abstain from the forthcoming All-Orthodox Bishops’ Council. He revealed that this is currently pencilled in to take place (in a still undisclosed location) next June.

The Metropolitan noted that there had been no agreement at pre-Council meetings on issues such as the order of seniority of the Local Churches, the granting of autocephaly, the calendar and the possibility of allowing a second marriage for clergy. He said that if there is no agreement on such issues, then they should be removed from the agenda. (We should note that only certain bishops have even been consulted on the need for such a meeting, let alone on the agenda, and that many in the parishes have never even heard of this forthcoming ‘Council’; an excellent recipe for its non-reception and/or schisms). Metropolitan Onuphry stated that only where there is full agreement, that is, consensus, can such issues remain on the agenda. Otherwise there would be schisms and public disagreements at the meeting. He also mentioned the possibility of trickery, that propositions that had already been rejected would be resubmitted for signature, but in Greek, before there was time for correct translations to be made. He was also concerned that issues which had not been discussed before the meeting could be added to the agenda at the last minute, resulting in what he called ‘farce’.

He declared that the Council of Bishops of the Church would therefore discuss refusing to take part in the ‘Council’ at all. He asserted that participation could become a greater evil than refusing to participate. If a Local Church refused to take part, then such a meeting could not be considered to represent all Orthodox. Calling the so-called ‘Council’ (organized by the elderly and ill Patriarch of Constantinople, who represents only a few million Orthodox) a ‘temptation’, the Metropolitan called on us to pray to God that this temptation be removed from the Church. He added that there was no need to ‘seek a new faith, but to seek the renewal of the human-being, for our faith is holy’. Mentioning the number of saints, he said that they prove that ours is ‘a saving faith’, that we ‘do not need to seek a faith more attuned to our passions’. ‘We do not need to break our faith because of our weakness and pride, but to break ourselves by adapting ourselves to the faith’. He added: ‘God has given us the faith, let us keep it and if someone else makes another faith, then that is his problem, he will have to answer to God’.

Source:

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2016/13/20160104/nado_vozderzhatsya_ot_uchastiya_v_etom_sobore/